By: Friedrich Seiltgen
The Barrett Multi-Role Adaptive Design (MRAD) is taking the sniper rifle market by storm!
The MRAD was first developed in 2009 to compete in the Special Operations Command Sniper program. While it initially lost to Remington’s MK21 PSR Modular Rifle, USSOCOM decided to restart the competition in 2013 as the MK21 did not meet the requirements for the rifle to employ multiple calibers and changeable barrels. Now in 2020, the Army and Marines have announced the MRAD is going to be their standard issue sniper rifle.
The Barrett story is just. plain. cool! Ronnie Barrett first hit the scene in 1982 with his M82 .50 caliber sniper rifle. Working out of a garage in Christiana, Tennessee, Barret designed every part of the M82 by himself. Not too bad for a photographer with no engineering experience! That’s right, Barrett was a photographer who got the idea for a .50 caliber rifle during a photo shoot. He then started putting his idea to paper.
Initially, several machine shops turned down his design, until he found the right man to fabricate the prototype for him. Barrett then took his rifle to a gun show in Texas where he got deposits on three rifles. He then produced an initial run of 30 rifles. The end result was the Barrett M82 going from drawing board to production in four months! Any fledgling firearms designers out there take note: you might be the next Ronnie Barrett!
The MRAD is extremely versatile. Designed with modularity in mind, it can be converted to one of seven calibers with conversion kits. Barrels can be swapped out simply by removing 2 T-30 Torx screws. No headspace, gauges, or other special tools required. Trigger packs are also interchangeable with adjustable pull weights. All these changes can be made in the field by the operator! The receiver is a machined aluminum monolithic design, and the upper features a full-length picatinny rail, which is becoming a standard on sniper rifles. The handguard also has mounting slots at the 3,6, and 9 o’clock positions.
The MRAD bolt rides in an enclosed polymer guide, which aids in smooth, reliable operation and helps keep dirt out of the chamber.
This firearms comes equipped with ambidextrous magazine release, a thumb safety that’s swappable, and like many new rifles, uses M-16 style pistol grips. The folding stock is easily configured to fit shooters of all sizes. It’s adjustable without any tools and reduces the length by about seven inches for a more compact transport.
Action Type: Bolt
Caliber: 7.62X51, .338 Norma Mag, .300 Norma Mag, 6.5 Creedmoor, .300 Win Mag, .338 Lapua Mag and 300 PRC.
Magazine capacity: 10 rounds, double stacked
Sights: Leupold Mark 5 HD scope
Trigger Pull: 2.5 pounds
Barrel Length: 20 - 27”
Overall Length: 47.4”
Weight: 13.9 pounds
While some complain the MRAD is a bit on the heavy side, it is what a sniper rifle should be: reliable, modular, and accurate! When shooting some of these powerful calibers, you might want a bit of mass in your rifle. So, whether it’s for competition or combat, the Barrett MRAD can do it all!
That’s all for now folks! Please keep sending in your questions, tips, and article Ideas. And as always – “Let’s be careful out there!”
Friedrich Seiltgen is a retired Master Police Officer with 20 years of service with the Orlando Police Department. He conducts training in Lone Wolf Terrorism, Firearms, First Aid, Active Shooter Response, and Law Enforcement Vehicle Operations in Florida. His writing has appeared in The Counter Terrorist Magazine, American Thinker, Homeland Security Today, and The Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.